I feel compelled to reply to Fred Burgess (Letters, December 30) because it is the second time he has responded to Emma Richards with the same argument for not going vegan rather than countering her well-made points on the potential benefits of a lesser reliance on an animal-based diet.

Mr Burgess asks, “What would happen to all these animals if they were not farmed for food?”

This is a false scenario given that meat production is a business and farm animals are bred to be killed. If there was no market for meat, the farm factory would close its production line. It is a question of simple economics.

The population is not going to change its eating habits overnight so his vision of animals roaming all over the place free from the slaughterer’s knife is one which will not be seen.

Mr Burgess goes on to say that he does not condone the abuse of animals, providing they are killed humanely. Rather than sarcastically ask Emma Richards for a pair of the rose-tinted glasses through which she views life, I suggest he is already wearing them.

David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks

I feel it is Fred Burgess who is wearing the “rose-tinted glasses” by claiming that animals can be slaughtered “humanely”.

Animal Aid is the UK’s largest animal rights group. Between 2009 and 2011, it filmed secretly inside nine randomly chosen British slaughterhouses.

They found evidence of cruelty and lawbreaking in eight of them. The problems are serious and widespread. Their films revealed animals being kicked, slapped, stamped on and picked up by fleeces and ears and thrown into stunning pens.

Even where no laws were broken, animals still suffered pain and fear.

Whether “conventional”, organic, kosher or halal, all slaughter is unnecessary and immoral and the only way to prevent such suffering is to go vegan.

As for the point that there would be a surplus of animals in the event that everyone suddenly became vegan, animal sanctuaries accept (and sometimes buy) these animals from farmers.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary is home to more than 2,000 animals.

There are plenty of animal charities out there and, indeed, people looking to stop animals being exploited for meat, dairy products and eggs.

Emma Richards, Halland Road, Brighton